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NO WEEKLY BRIEF NEWSLETTER FOR THE WEEKEND OF OCT. 16-17

Morning mail: Australia-US ties strengthen, Labor captain’s pick controversy, pandemic photography

·6 min read
<span>Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Good morning. Protesters in Melbourne have been warned to stay away today after a second day of violent clashes between police and construction workers rallying against mask mandates. Labor’s pick for the federal seat of Hunter is under fire for inappropriate social media behaviour. And lockdown is lifting in Ballarat, just in time for an exhibition featuring photographs documenting the pandemic.

The United States has no closer or more reliable ally than Australia,” Joe Biden has said, speaking before a bilateral meeting with Scott Morrison on the sidelines of the UN general assembly in New York. Biden and Morrison welcomed their new security ties after last week’s announcement that Washington would provide Canberra with advanced technology for nuclear-powered submarines. The deal has infuriated Paris but the federal trade minister, Dan Tehan, insists Australia’s free-trade agreement negotiations with the EU are “business as usual”.

Also at the UN general assembly, Biden has promised that the withdrawal from Afghanistan is a turning point in history, in which “relentless war” would be supplanted by “relentless diplomacy”. He also pledged to give $11bn a year to developing nations to help them respond to the climate emergency.

Controversy surrounds Labor’s captain’s pick for Hunter, with local branch members enraged by the selection of Daniel Repacholi, who is under scrutiny for his social media activities. Repacholi deleted his Instagram account that followed sexually suggestive, gun-toting profiles after he was selected by the party to run for the seat. He has been forced to apologise for some of his social media activity, including describing India as a “shit hole” on his return from the Commonwealth Games in 2010. Repacholi only joined the party three weeks ago and Labor insiders are concerned that the ALP has not undertaken its usual vetting processes before backing him.

NSW is turning to other states and overseas to recruit nurses to help with the predicted peak in Covid-related hospitalisations next month. Some hospitals are offering incentives for short-term contracts and the state’s health department is in talks to fast-track approvals of overseas qualifications. Intensive care and emergency department nurses are understood to be most in demand.

Australia

A canola field seen through trees
One in five carbon credits paid for by Australia’s emissions reduction fund do not represent real cuts in CO2. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

About 20% of carbon credits created under the Coalition’s main climate change are essentially “junk”, research suggests. Projects that “avoided deforestation” did not represent genuine abatement, according to researchers who likened the Coalition policy to “cheap tricks and hot air”.

The former federal Nationals leader Michael McCormack says his party saying a flat “no” to a commitment to net zero emissions could threaten Australia’s trade relationships and export income.

The operator of a private retirement village tried to stop a woman taking possession of her deceased grandparents’ land on the fringes of Sydney, claiming it as its own using squatters’ rights.

The world

Justin Trudeau celebrates with his family
Justin Trudeau has called the election victory a ‘clear mandate’ to get Canada through pandemic. Photograph: Christinne Muschi/Reuters

Justin Trudeau has secured a third election victory in Canada but failed to win a parliamentary majority in a controversial snap election that “nobody wanted” and in which “nobody got what they wanted”, according to Toronto Star political columnist Chantal Hébert.

An autopsy will be conducted to identify the remains believed to be those of the missing US woman Gabby Petitio and to determine the cause of death. Police and FBI agents continue to search for Petito’s fiance, Brian Laundrie, a “person of interest”.

The family of Harry Dunn have reached a “resolution” with the teenager’s alleged killer, Anne Sacoolas, who claimed diplomatic immunity and fled the UK after allegedly striking the teenager’s motorbike while leaving an airbase.

A crucial series of Albert Einstein’s calculations is set to be auctioned for an estimate of almost $5m.

Recommended reads

Mass Isolation Australia was created during lockdown in March 2020 to establish a visual record of the pandemic. It quickly became a way to see the Covid crisis unfold through Australian eyes, as well as a source of connection and community in a time of social distance. With the Ballarat lockdown to end at 11.59pm on Wednesday, the Ballarat International Foto Biennale is scheduled to reopen on Thursday 23 September. Here’s a teaser of some of the images captured during Australia’s lockdown.

There are a lot of great feelings in life. Arguably one of the best is when you find a new TV show you love and then realise it already has a bunch of seasons out. This blessed rare occurrence happened to Rebecca Shaw with the show Taskmaster, which gets five very different people to do the same task under pressure. It is often fascinating, sometimes surprising and it’s almost always funny. “One of the reasons Taskmaster is so good is also one of the reasons it is hard to describe to people in a profound way,” she writes. “That is, it’s extremely silly. The tasks range from “make this coconut look like a businessman” to “bring a board game to life” to “throw a potato into a golf hole”, and many more.”

For more than 15 years, Lisa Havilah has been one of the most forward-thinking names in the Australian arts. Her path into the arts began at home with her mother, who was a ceramicist. She tells us about the item of her mother’s she still cherishes, as well as the story of two other important personal belongings – both of them artistic mementoes.

Listen

Australian wheelchair racer Madison de Rozario’s Paralympic career started when she competed at the Beijing Paralympics at the age of 14. Now the 27-year-old has cemented her place in the history books – breaking multiple records and winning three medals, including two gold, at the Tokyo Paralympics. In this episode of Full Story, De Rozario speaks about her sometimes bumpy rise to wheelchair-racing fame and the power of the Paralympics as a vehicle for change.

Full Story is Guardian Australia’s daily news podcast. Subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or any other podcasting app.

Some models of autism frame special interest as something unsettling and obsessive. Guardian Australia’s culture editor, Steph Harmon, recommends a piece by Clem Bastow about this unfair double standard for today’s Australia Reads podcast. No headphones nearby? You can read Bastow’s piece here.

Listen to the best of Guardian Australia’s journalism on Australia Reads podcast on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Subscribe for free onApple Podcasts, Spotify or any other podcasting app.

Sport

Australia has won its 25th consecutive ODI with a nine-wicket victory over India.

Penrith have been fined $25,000 and trainer Pete Green suspended for the rest of the season for allegedly breaching NRL rules in Saturday night’s controversial semi-final win over Parramatta.

Media roundup

The WA government is facing calls to appoint a full-time child protection minister after a damning report revealed vulnerable children were placed in care alongside children with harmful sexual behaviours, WA Today reports. The Courier-Mail reports that Queensland’s largest health region will need an extra 900 beds and a $1.3bn budget in the coming decade.

Coming up

Scott Morrison is in the US for high-level meetings before the Quad leaders’ summit.

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